Readers write: Opioid abuse justice, kindness for refugees, and more

Courtesy of Prashant Panjiar/ Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation/File
See what readers shared in the Sept. 23 issue of the weekly magazine.

Opioid abuse justice

Regarding the Aug. 28 Monitor Daily story “When it comes to opioid crisis, what does justice look like?”:

This is an area where I find myself conflicted. On one hand, I have worked with people experiencing homelessness for over 10 years, both professionally and in a volunteer capacity. And I lost my daughter-in-law to alcohol. I mention these experiences only to say that I am familiar with the results of drug addiction, but I still firmly believe that we should do everything we can to help those who bear this burden of addiction.

Why We Wrote This

Letters to the editor for the Sept. 23, 2019 weekly magazine.

On the other hand, what of personal responsibility? The majority of people are not addicts. They conduct their lives with varying degrees of success and never descend into the spiral of addiction. Many of them have tried drugs and alcohol but have managed to step back from dependency. What is the difference? How do we help one and respect the other?

Lastly, what about prevention? American society seems to be OK with addictions. With vaping, we have introduced a new way of using drugs that is now killing people. There was no regulation, though the problems could have been foreseen.

Bruce Higgins
San Diego

Kindness for refugees

Thank you, thank you, thank you for the wonderful story “Among those helping Maine’s new arrivals: Other immigrants” in the Sept. 2 Monitor Weekly, about the communities that are welcoming asylum-seekers from Central Africa. I am so hungry for good news – news of kindness and compassion, stories of our better selves – after the discouraging and depressing headlines about the meanness of the government’s treatment of the refugees and asylum-seekers at the southern border.

Marilyn Kreger
Brighton, Michigan

Persistence and Petoskeys

A note of appreciation to Anna Tarnow for her Home Forum essay “How the object of my search found me instead” in the July 29 issue of the Monitor Weekly. 

The story was so reminiscent of my own experience, yet also expanded what I knew about the intriguing, uniquely patterned Petoskey stones. I suspect we even went to the same camp in different decades. I, too, thought I’d never find this little treasure – nor (in my case) overcome intense homesickness. Yet persistence in both quests eventually was happily rewarded. Thanks to the author for evoking pleasant memories, and to the Monitor for keeping the Home Forum in addition to reporting vital world news.

Cynthia W. Holloway
Oak Grove, Oregon

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Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.